Engines are the primary means of conventional movement for any ship. The associated Engine blocks cannot be turned and will always face the ship's forward direction, which is additionally indicated in the build menu by the green arrows on four sides.
Holding the Forward key in the Mouse-Steering mode will activate the Engines, producing constant acceleration towards the ship's bow, until its speed reaches Maximum Velocity.
In the Keyboard-Steering mode the output of the Engines is adjusted by Accelerate and Brake keys, which increase and decrease the target velocity the ship will try to maintain.
In either control method, Engines will drive the ship towards its current facing, fighting against the direction and inertia if the ship was already moving.
Engines do not require clearance to be functional and always produce the full extent of thrust regardless of placement.
Operational Engines have a base power upkeep of 400 MW per unit of volume, which is decreased by 5% for each more advanced material they're made out of.
Regardless of the chosen material, all Engine blocks produce 20 MN of force per unit of volume, meaning that 1x1x1 Engine block produces enough thrust to accelerate the mass of 100 Tons at the rate of 200 m/s^2.
The Maximum Velocity of the ship is a logarithmic function of the total volume of Engine blocks on the ship, as given below:
- pre 2.0: Max Velocity = 150 * LN(Volume + 5) - 166.4
- 2.0: Max Velocity = 100 * LN(Volume + 5) - 86
...where "Max Velocity" is in meters per second and "Volume" is in standard ship voxel cubes. A 1x1x1 ship voxel is 10 meters x 10 meters x 10 meters, or a cubic decameter.
Engine blocks require 1 untrained Engineer for every 30 units of volume to operate optimally, plus 1 untrained Mechanic for every 100 units to maintain.